Sunrise 161: Ault Park (Spring Twilight Colors, Tree of Heaven’s Springtime Coat)
Sunrise 161, featuring the Tree of Heaven
Daybreak came late this morning.
Now that the sunrise time has crossed below the 7:00am threshold, it is easier for me to make a trip to the park without worrying as much about my morning schedule (I’ve been busy for the last few weeks!). The air was brisk this morning at 44F, a temperature that I only just now realized. I thought it was nippy but without a breeze it felt warmer than it really was! Armed with hot coffee and my bike, I found myself up at the park about a half hour before sunrise.
The colors this morning were beautiful. Mixing them with a dynamic true spring atmosphere (we had big storms yesterday) made for a swirling concoction of twilight cloud cover. There was a low lying cloud bank that blocked the sun for a few moments, but it eventually swept into the distance and allowed the sunlight to come through across the horizon.
Unlike the summer and autumn sunrises, where the sky is crystal clear and the atmosphere lights up an hour before sunrise, these spring sunrises are humid in a sky full of obstacles. This morning’s sunrise didn’t hit peak colors until just 10 minutes before day break, which helps explain why I was so caught off guard by finding out that the summer’s sunrise starts much more early than I was used to.
I visited my old friend, the Tree of Heaven down at the lower overlook. She is full of spring life and, to my surprise, made for another beautiful silhouette against the sunrise that has moved into the left most part of the horizon. I had thought that maybe I wouldn’t be using the young tree as a sunrise subject until next winter (when the sun has moved back across the sky to be directly behind her) but was wrong.
Arriving at the park, the crescent moon hangs low in the sky and the colors are just getting started.
Heekin Overlook is dark and chilly and we can see a light fog sitting down in the valley behind.
I was worried at first that the cloud bank may block all of the best colors, but that worry soon faded.
Heading down to the lower overlook to get a better vantage point, I see that there is more light over to the left. Has the sun really moved *that* far already?
The Tree of Heaven adorning her early spring coat. Can you see the little flower pods on the tops of the stalks? She’s almost ready to bloom! I am wondering if I could harvest some seeds and grow my own little tree of heaven. They’re considered pests in a lot of areas (probably including around here) but she holds a special place in my heart (you’ll see why in a minute)…
This left-most branch of the young Tree of Heaven was mostly ignored by myself during the series of silhouettes (see below). Now, with the sun having moved across the horizon, I find that it is making an excellent silhouette subject of its own.
Pictures from this past winter of this young Tree of Heaven (See Sunrise 135 through Sunrise 150), included for good measure:
(Wow! I forgot I had taken that many… I’m sure I’ve missed some, too.)
For the rest of the pictures, 14 total this morning, please click to continue if you’re on the front page.
Final shot w/ Tree of Heaven, taken a few minutes after the previous shot when the sky was beginning to fade.
Here we get a full gimpse of the morning’s color palette as we march toward daybreak.
A sample of one of the many interesting cloud formations in the sky this morning.
Just after “daybreak”, but we won’t see the sun for another 10 minutes.
The sun is just about to punch through that cloud bank. As it turns out, the sun is *not* all the way over on the left side as I originally wondered.
A final shot from the upper overlook. Thanks for reading!
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September 23, 2014 at 9:52 pm